Anchoring systems for the next generation of floating infrastructures

Associate Professor Yinghui Tian

As the world’s population continues to grow (estimated to reach 9.8 billion by 2050), new sources of energy and novel long-distance transport routes are being sought from the ocean. This next generation infrastructure will not be fixed like a traditional oil and gas platform or bridge, with structure from the surface to the seabed, but will be floating on (or even below) the wave surface and stabilised in position by a series of long chains and large anchors. Three frontier examples are (a) Floating Liquefied Natural Gas (FLNG) that produce, liquefy, store and transfer LNG (milestone technology is the 488 m long Prelude platform located 475km off Western Australia in 250m water depth), (b) floating wind turbines (milestone technology is Hywind Scotland deployed in 100m water, comprising 5 turbines of overall height 253m and rotor diameter 154m, capacity of 30MW enough to power 22,000 households), and (c) submerged floating tunnels that by adjusting their buoyancy are suspended in water and offer an alternative to bridges or underground tunnels (still no milestone technology, but conceptual plans for $40 billion Route E39 coastal highway project of Norway). Essential to this success is to securely moor them to the seabed with an efficient, economic and reliable anchoring system. This presentation will the research work on anchoring systems the presenter has worked on and future work ideas including: (a) plate anchor optimisation; (b) integrated analysis; (c) new anchor concepts and designs.

About the speaker

Associate Professor Yinghui Tian Department of Infrastructure Engineering, University of Melbourne

Yinghui Tian is an Associate Professor at the Department of Infrastructure Engineering of the University of Melbourne. Prior to his appointment at Melbourne, he had ~12 year research experience at the Centre for Offshore Foundation Systems (COFS) of the University of Western Australia. He was recently awarded the prestigious Australian Research Council (ARC) Future Fellowship to support his cutting-edge research in offshore anchoring systems and renewable energies. He has been working in the area of offshore geotechnics to convert the innovative research outcomes to engineering practice and design. This includes the two suites of computer software (UWAINT and CASPA, developed together with Prof Mark Randolph and Mark Cassidy). The UWAINT package is licensed to JP Kenny and Technip for dynamic stability analysis of offshore pipelines of Australian North-West Shelf projects. The CASPA (Chain And SEPLA Plasticity Analysis) program is licensed to industry leader ExxonMobil to analyse the anchoring solutions for floating platforms in ultradeep (>1000 m) water. He is the recipient of the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) David Hislop Award for the best paper on offshore engineering in 2017. He is currently the associate editor of ASCE Journal of Pipeline Systems Engineering and Practice.

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